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Pacione-Zayas, Vella and Niemerg profiled

Tuesday, Nov 30, 2021

* I have been dazzled by freshman Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas’ resume since I first saw it. Here’s part of her history from a profile by Capitol News Illinois

She completed her doctorate in education policy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where her aim was to put the theory she was learning in the classroom to practice in the community. […]

While Pacione-Zayas was finishing her degree, she worked in Little Village as the community schools director at Enlace, a nonprofit social service organization based on the South Side of Chicago. She helped to bring computer literacy, adult education, and youth enrichment programs into neighborhood schools.

She’s held several leadership roles, including the education director for the Latino Policy Forum and co-chair of the Puerto Rican Agenda, a nonprofit organization advocating for the Puerto Rican community.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Maria in 2017, she led organizing efforts to secure local- and state-level resources to help those on the island but also for families relocating to Chicago, according to several news reports. She was appointed by Gov. J.B. Pritzker to serve as secretary for the Illinois State Board of Education, leaving that position before she became a state senator.

Most recently Pacione-Zayas was the vice president of policy at Erikson Institute, a graduate school for childhood development, where she led the development of the school’s Early Childhood Leadership Academy and Community Data Lab, according to her biography.

There’s more. Click here.

* CNI is doing other freshman profiles as well. From its Rep. Dave Vella story

He said he started knocking doors in June 2020. Vella estimates he personally knocked on 10,000 doors, with another 20,000 knocked by staffers.

He thought if he could turn out the Midwest moderates, both Democrats and Republicans, he could win. […]

Vella says he believed he had lost on election night when Cabello pulled ahead.

On Nov. 17, after a recount of a quarter of the district’s precincts at Cabello’s request, the results were posted.

Vella had won the unwinnable race by just 239 votes, 0.4 percent of the votes cast.

* And from its Rep. Adam Niemerg piece

As a lawmaker, Niemerg has introduced more than twice the number of bills and resolutions as any other freshman representative.

The 51 bills and resolutions he has introduced include provisions that would have, among other things, instituted stricter voter identification rules, lowered the minimum age to obtain a Firearm Owners Identification Card and make so-called “partial-birth abortion” a state crime.

Despite the number of bills he introduced, he was the chief sponsor on only one bill that became law. The measure was introduced in the Senate by Bailey, R-Xenia. It expands the eligibility to become a firefighter to include volunteer and part-time firefighters with five years of experience.

When asked why he introduces so many bills, most of which have slim to no chance of passing, Niemerg said he feels like it’s his duty because the people of his district feel left out of politics.

“They feel Chicago takes the majority of the attention and really drives the politics of the state,” he said. “They wanted me to speak up and to discuss what their values are to really represent them on the House floor.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

5 Comments
  1. - RKFD guy - Tuesday, Nov 30, 21 @ 2:49 pm:

    I’ve met both Vella and Pacione-Zayas and they are both very impressive in person — genuine, hard-working, thoughtful, kind. Pacione-Zayas is _brillant_ as well.


  2. - JS Mill - Tuesday, Nov 30, 21 @ 3:07 pm:

    =She completed her doctorate in education policy at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign=

    One of the requirements for achieving this degree should be a year of teaching in a public school. In my experience, these folks just do not understand the nuts and bolts of teaching kids. Same goes for school admins that came up through the business side of things, they end up being good with numbers but not the practical aspects of teaching kids and supporting those efforts.


  3. - Almost retired - Tuesday, Nov 30, 21 @ 3:19 pm:

    @JS Mills. In my experience that included time as an education evaluator, I would agree completely with your comments. The same applies to some other fields such as mental health that frequently now have managers and CEOs who have never done the work.


  4. - very old soil - Tuesday, Nov 30, 21 @ 3:35 pm:

    Re: Rep. Niemerg, I was trying to recall the Coach Wooden quote when I clicked on his bio. Anti-mask and anti-vax. So glad he hasn’t achieved anything


  5. - PublicServant - Tuesday, Nov 30, 21 @ 4:35 pm:

    Two gems and a lump.


Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.


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